The key to efficient car maintenance lies in knowing how to recognize when a part needs changing and even in being able to anticipate these replacements. Sure, this is not an exact science but knowing the approximate useful life of a certain car part can help you budget your car maintenance much more efficiently. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top six most commonly replaced car parts and some suggestions of how often you should change them.
Generally speaking, car tires wear out every five to six years and need to be replaced. When speaking about miles, this is anywhere between 50,000 and 75,000. On the other hand, if weather conditions (which affect road conditions) in your region are extreme, you probably have two sets of tires. Other than this, in case of a flat tire (which can happen even with new tires for a number of reasons), you are supposed to make the replacement on spot. Also, depending on whether your car is an AWD, RWD or FWD, the tires on your car might not wear out at an equal pace. This is why you might want to rotate them on a regular basis.
The next thing that comes to mind is exterior lights like brake lights, turn signals, taillights, etc. The reason why they are so commonly replaced is due to the fact that they’re exposed and fragile. This means that even during the lightest of collisions, they’re bound to break. Unlike the rest of the chassis, they can’t be fixed in any other way. This is why a replacement is the only viable option. Now, the problem with anticipating lies in the fact that there’s no expiration date. Fortunately, they’re quite inexpensive, which is why having some spares on hand is always a good idea.
Front and back bumpers are car parts that need to be replaced after every collision, no matter how minor. The problem here is that people underestimate the damage that has befallen this part. If the structural integrity is compromised, the next collision may shatter them completely, making the passengers much more vulnerable. Fortunately, on platforms specializing in the retail of car parts, you can search for the part you need. You can filter the make, model and year of your car’s manufacturing and find the right bumper for it. This makes the maintenance a lot easier and budgeting a lot simpler.
Door handles and locks
One of the biggest fears of the majority of car owners is the idea that their door handle or lock could break unexpectedly. This way, they would be prevented from entering the car or be forced to contact an emergency locksmith. The thing is that these parts (even though they break quite often) don’t really have an expiration date. The reason why this is problematic is due to the fact that you really can’t anticipate when something like this is going to happen. So, have a spare key and try to be as gentle as possible. Also, don’t try to rely on getting anywhere right on time.
The next item that is bound to need replacement is spark plugs. How long will they last? Well, that depends on the type of your current plugs. Most commonly, standard (copper) plugs can last between 10,000 and 20,000 miles. On the other hand, iridium or platinum plugs can last up to 60,000 miles, which is a vast upgrade. The first warning signs that your spark plug needs replacement is the scenario where your vehicle is difficult to start, it accelerates slowly or it has trouble idling.
Brake components (unlike some other elements) tend to need replacement once every 100,000 miles. The reason why this is somewhat odd is that this may take you as much as a full decade (average American drives about 1,000 miles every month). By that time, you will either forget about the brakes or buy a new vehicle. All in all, you need to focus on this task, seeing as how functional brakes make a difference between life and death.
At the end of the day, what matters most is that your car is fully functional and the only way to secure this is to properly maintain the vehicle. The optimal state of your tires, functional brakes, functioning lights and a solid bumper are pivotal for your on-road safety, as well as your overall driving experience. Do not take them lightly.